Rahul Tewatia had to request for a “pat on the back” last year but this season he has earned it.
In a debriefing video of the 2019 season that has gone viral following his match-winning six-hitting spree on Sunday, Tewatia, who played for Delhi Capitals last year, can be seen walking up to head coach Ricky Ponting to remind the legendary Australian about his four catches in the win against the mighty Mumbai Indians.
Tewatia stops Ponting in his stride after he concludes his post-match dressing room speech, patting the likes of Rishabh Pant, Shikhar Dhawan, Colin Ingram and the bowlers for their match-winning effort at the Wankhede Stadium.
With leg-spinner Tewatia yearning for recognition for his four catches, Ponting obliges by telling the entire squad, albeit in a lighter vein.
“Boys Tewatia took four catches and wants a pat on the back,” Ponting tells the dressing room much to everyone’s amusement and walks away with a grin on his face.
Axar Patel then chides Tewatia in lighter vein for asking for recognition.
“Apne haq ke liye ladenge (I will fight for what I am owed),” Tewatia says at the end of the footage.
That incident best summed up Tewatia’s career, which found its moment under the spotlight on Sunday night. The Haryana bowler was an IPL regular who could contribute in all departments but he could never come up with that one career-defining performance.
After five seasons in the wilderness, the 27-year-old did something on Sunday night that ensured that he won’t have to ask for recognition anymore.
Traded back to Rajasthan Royals this year, Tewatia, after the “worst 20 balls” he has ever played, pulled the rabbit out of the hat by smashing West Indian speedster Shedon Cottrell for five sixes in an over that effectively won the game for his team.
The six out of the seven sixes he hit came off his last eight balls, handing Royals an improbable victory. This was after Sanju Samson refused to take a single as Tewatia struggled at the other end, struggling to put bat on ball early on in his innings.
With that 30-run over, Tewatia changed the course of the game and potentially his career.